I have been reflecting on what I saw and experienced in Zimbabwe, the physiological, political and financial needs, the church, the business, the searching for a saviour and the reflections I see in the UK. My reflections bring me to the theme of water. What concerns me is the church has become reliant on models of delivering sanitised spirituality through a Victorian system or a bottled version with exaggerated promises.
One week I am waking up wondering about the safety of a journey across Harare to the airport, the next I am taking my kids to school then heading towards the Houses of Parliament. One week I have no internet due to the Zimbabwe government shutting it down, the next I have easy access to high speed broadband and 4G wherever I go. One week I am in glorious sunshine the next I am wondering if the snow might settle or if it will just blow around a do nothing.
Strangely, as the day begins with such a precious moment it is also the day I feel most home sick. I am comfortable, safe, back amongst all my creature comforts and more precious loved one. Yet I have the feelings of homesickness, a longing to be back in Zimbabwe.
As a team of mostly white European Christian’s we rely on our money, tablets, bottled water, lotions, potions, phones, wifi, we don't rely on God. We rely on our intellect to win the game of politics of church power and control. We rely on safe foods, hand sanitizer, ability to bride, insurance, contacts in high places ... who is our God?
Fridges that would typically stock soda’s and juice are empty as there is no one bringing supplies A couple of craft shops remain open and we are amused by a poster stating “The Party Starts Here” yet everywhere is closed and there are few people around.
We learn that 55% percent of the country now has no internet, meaning that there is no way for the demonstrators to communicate with Whatsapp or similar are easy rally masses of people. It also means we are without much communication to the outside world and don’t know what is happening. Without access to social media, no TV and a broken DVD player it seems like this is going to be a long and quiet day.
It was insightful, honest, challenging, gripping and inspiring. Rev. Gondongwe articulated the theology, thoughts and practices I have had as meandering ideas but he expressed them with clarity and in a succinct manner. Rarely do I hear Christians speak about the faults and mistakes of the church as well as its successes and positive contributions. It was excellent.
You must have a framework of justice! Be guided by the principal of justice!
Our hearts were certainly in our stomachs as we crept along. It began with a sense of tension that we could feel from our driver and the team leaders of our trip.
Baboons run and climb around all over the place (though not in the lion enclosures) looking for food and being a nuisance. I am particularly found of the Galapagos Tortoise named Tommy who, we are informed, is estimated to be around 340 years old.